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La Tech has new vision

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RUSTON, La -

(Courtesy LaTechSports.com)  In a continuing effort to elevate its athletic facilities and improve its game-day atmosphere, Louisiana Tech Athletics Director Tommy McClelland introduced the latest facility addition during a press conference on Monday - a $1.2 million project that is highlighted by a high definition video display board in the Thomas Assembly Center.

In addition to the board, the project also includes a customized sound system for the Thomas Assembly Center and a video board control room which will be utilized for both football and basketball.

"This state-of-the-art video display board will drastically change the game experience for our fans and student-athletes," McClelland said. "We are excited to make such a major improvement to the Thomas Assembly Center, one of the most storied basketball venues in the country. I look forward to seeing how this will enhance our game-day atmosphere. Projects like this cannot happen without the help of great supporters."

The entire project will be funded through a number of avenues, including university's partnership with LA Tech Sports Properties, a property of Learfield Sports as well as private donations. LA Tech Sports Properties is the official media rights holder for Louisiana Tech Athletics.

Lead sponsors and donors for the newest addition to the TAC are Community Trust Bank and Paul Millsap along with other anonymous gifts. Additional donors are being sought to complete funding for the project.

The board - which will be known as Paul Millsap Vision presented by Community Trust Bank - will be installed by Daktronics, the world leader in large format electronic display systems. The project includes four LED center hung video displays (7.3 by 11.4), two LED ribbon board displays (2 x 45.8 and 2 x 61.4), four new corner courtside displays (2 video displays, 2 standard scoreboard displays with messaging centers).

Daktronics is recognized worldwide in its industry as the leading designer and manufacturer of electronic scoreboards programmable display systems and large screen video displays using light emitting diode (LED) technology. Many of their video boards add to the game-day experience in professional and major college stadiums and arenas around the country and around the world

"This project will provide so many benefits," said Lady Techster head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. "This incredible addition to our arena will give the fans a better insight into the game, our program and our student-athletes. It's great for recruiting. It will enhance the atmosphere at games. There are just so many reasons to be excited about this as we approach the season, and our entire program is so appreciative of everyone who has made this project a reality."

American AVL in Ruston will install the new sound system for the project, which has been specially customized for the facility allowing the volume to be adjusted by preferences in seating areas and for attendance figures.

Media Support Group (MSG) will install a new HD-video control room located in the TAC which will serve both the Assembly Center and Joe Aillet Stadium. The scope of the package includes the necessary HD cameras and other equipment necessary for video production for football, basketball and volleyball.

MSG has designed and installed video control rooms for professional and collegiate organizations around the country, providing its clients with all the necessary tools to entertain fans and create valuable revenue for the organization as well as an exciting fan experience.

"I'd like to thank our administration for continuing to show tremendous support to our program," said Bulldog head coach Mike White. "Our state-of-the-art video board is the latest example of that support, which will enhance the game experience for our student-athletes, students, and fans while helping continue to attract prospective student-athletes in the future. This will be one of the newest and nicest video boards in the country, and my staff, players, and I are extremely grateful to the financial supporters that made this vision a reality."

The current scoreboards and sound system in the facility were installed when the Thomas Assembly Center was built in the late 1970s and early '80s and opened in July of 1982. The 181,000-square foot facility was built at a cost of $17.5 million and named for Samuel M. Thomas, Sr., a prominent businessman who played a major role in government and civic affairs in north Louisiana until his death in 1951.

The project is set to be fully operational by early November in time for the start of the 2013-14 basketball season.

LA Tech fans wishing to purchase their men's and women's basketball season tickets can do so by calling the Tech Ticket Office at 318-257-3631 or emailing techtickets@latech.edu. Fans can also log onto LATechSports.com for more information on basketball season tickets.

 

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